Line a 13" x 9" pan with parchment or waxed paper (the pan can be lightly greased as well, but cutting and removing the bars won't be as easy).
Combine the first ingredients of bar you are making (3 ingredients for regular bar, 2 for nut butter bar) in a large saucepan over medium heat. Stir to combine and melt together until smooth. Remove from heat.
Add the remaining ingredients and mix thoroughly right in the saucepan (see article tips on adding chocolate chips - add them last).
When everything is mixed well, scrape into the prepared pan, spreading evenly. Press the mixture down very firmly.
Refrigerate 1 hour before removing from the pan, cutting into bars, and placing in baggies or an air tight container.
Store in the refrigerator for up to a week or the freezer for longer storage.
*I tried many times to make the regular bar with only honey, but they always fall apart. Using the combo of honey and brown sugar is a key. I've reduced it over the years to the minimum needed, though.**Add-in ideas for variations:
1/2 cup dried cranberries, chopped (important for them to meld into bar and not fall out) + 1/2 cup chopped almonds= Cranberry Almond Bars
1/2 cup peanuts + 1/3 cup mini chocolate chips (1/2 cup seemed too much) + nut butter variation = P.B. Chocolate Chip Bars
1/2 cup coconut + 1/2 cup chopped apricots = Coconut Apricot Bars
1/3 cup white chocolate chips + 1/2 cup chopped cashews = White Chocolate Cashew Bars
your favorite combo!
NUTRITION NOTE: the main nutritional information was using the regular bar with almond and cranberry add-ins. The basic nutrition information per bar for the peanut butter chocolate chip variation is: Calories: 158; Sugar 18.4g; Sodium 52mg; Fat 15.6g; Carb 35.4g; Fiber 4.8g; Protein 9g